Wetland seed dispersal by white-tailed deer

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A wetland in Canaan Valley, West Virginia, USA.

Understanding the dispersal of wetland plants is important to the conservation of species in patchy or isolated wetland environments. In a recent study published in AoB PLANTS, Flaherty et al. explored the potential for wetland seed dispersal by white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in a high-elevation wetland complex in Canaan Valley, West Virginia, USA, by collecting and germinating deer feces in a controlled environment. Their results suggest that seed dispersal by large herbivores may be a more prevalent mechanism for wetland plants than previously recognized. This mechanism allows for the potential for long-distance dispersal over upland habitat from isolated wetland environments.

Reference

Flaherty, K. L., Rentch, J. S., & Anderson, J. T. (2017). Wetland seed dispersal by white-tailed deer in a large freshwater wetland complex. AoB PLANTS, 10(1). http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aobpla/plx074


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